The Top Uni-Vibe Pedal for Jimi Hendrix Vibes

Dave Mostert
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Uni-Vibe—turns your double-coil guitar pickups into a simulated rotary speaker effect using clever electronics in a non- Feedback oscillating circuit.

If you crave that psychedelic Leslie speaker effect without spending a million dollars, the Uni-Vibe is the pedal for you.

The Uni-Vibe is a very cool pedal that’s become completely iconic with wah-wah and phaser, and when you put those pedals together, you get this really funky, psychedelic sound. And that was the sound that made Jimi Hendrix famous.

So if you’re after that sound, the best way of getting it, I think, is to combine a Uni-Vibe with a phaser. This gives you the option of using the phaser on the lower settings and still being able to conjure up the Hendrix sound easily.

NameCategoryProduct
Dunlop M68 Uni-Vibe Chorus/VibratoBest OverallDunlop M68 Uni-Vibe Chorus/Vibrato
Shaky Jimi VibeBudget PickShaky Jimi Vibe
EarthQuaker Devices The Depths Optical Vibe Circuit Effects PedalUpgrade PickEarthQuaker Devices The Depths Optical Vibe Circuit Effects Pedal

1. Dunlop M68 Uni-Vibe Chorus/Vibrato

Our rating: 9 / 10

Dunlop M68 Uni-Vibe Chorus/Vibrato

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Pros:

  • Sweepable effect
  • Fairly cheap
  • Durable casing
  • True by-the-book sound
  • True by-the-book sound

Cons:

  • Does not have dual functionality of either chorus or vibrato
  • Some may find it too shrill for their style
  • Some may find it too shrill for their style
  • Does not have dual functionality of either chorus or vibrato

If you’re looking for a pedal that’s true to the original sound, then you really shouldn’t look past this classic from Dunlop.

The “fat” switch adds more depth to the effect and makes it sound much more like a classic Uni-Vibe effect. The depth knob is touch-sensitive so that you can create different peaks and valleys in the sweep with the pressure of your foot. The vibrato also sounds very natural for a pedal and it doesn’t sound like it has been altered in any way; it’s pure and as genuine as can be.

The M68 also sports a bypass switch, so if you leave it on, your signal will go through the unit regardless. This is great if you want to engage the pedal during solos.

2. TC Electronic Viscous Vibe Pedal

Our rating: 8 / 10

TC Electronic Viscous Vibe Pedal

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Pros:

  • Features two distinct Uni-vibe effects
  • Great for psychedelic rock and blues
  • Top-notch digital effects
  • Power supply included
  • Can be used to apply vibrato, chorus, or vibrato effects
  • Compatible with all kinds of guitars
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Works well with all amp models and virtually all effects
  • Reasonably priced in comparison to the competitors
  • Comes with full and complete sound support

Cons:

  • Only comes with two settings
  • No echoes or reverb effects

The TC Electronic Viscous Vibe Pedal is one of the most powerful and versatile Uni-vibe pedals available on the market. With the Viscous Vibe Pedal, you can create all kinds of classic Uni-Vibe sounds and make them your own. Additionally, the pedal can act as a chaser, a vibrato, and a rotary speaker.

3. Fulltone Custom Shop MDV3 Mini DejaVibe 3 Vibe/Chorus Pedal w/Foot Controlled Speed

Our rating: 8 / 10

Fulltone Custom Shop MDV3 Mini DejaVibe 3 Vibe/Chorus Pedal w/Foot Controlled Speed

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Pros:

  • Powerful v2.0 Uni-Vibe circuit
  • Controls on the side and a switch on the face for accessing the classic chorus, light chorus, v2.0 “ Univibe and chorus effect.
  • Speed and depth control via the tap tempo pedal and footswitch.
  • Created with high-quality components
  • Unique design for compactness
  • The pedal utilizes 18-volt operation
  • Simple design
  • Affordable price point for the high-quality effect

Cons:

  • Unit is specifically for use with guitar effects pedals. It won’t work with any other instrument.
  • The unit is larger than a standard stomp box.
  • Battery life is shorter than the average pedal
  • Volume wanes over the long term (more than a few months of use)
  • When adjusted, the audio can be either too loud or not loud enough.

The Fulltone Custom Shop MDV3 Mini DejaVibe Mini is one of the best wah pedals out there on the market. It’s affordable, and it is a high-quality effect. The company is honest and straightforward when it comes to customer service and the pedal works perfectly for a variety of uses.

4. Shaky Jimi Vibe

Our rating: 8 / 10

Shaky Jimi Vibe

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Pros:

  • Takes pedals well
  • Compact, light (and looks cool)
  • Takes batteries or an AC adapter
  • Can be used with a 9-volt or an 18-volt power supply

(from Guitar Player)

If you’re looking for one of the best Uni-Vibes, this might be the one for you! This unit is compact, vintage-style, and well-constructed. It’s simple and well-built to make your guitar sound awesome. When properly setup it will take any decent guitar and make it sound like an awesome vintage one.

5. JAM Pedals RetroVibe Univibe v2

Our rating: 6 / 10

JAM Pedals RetroVibe Univibe v2

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Pros:

  • Simple to use
  • Sturdy design
  • Pedal operation is quiet
  • Convenient power supply options
  • Easy to get authentic Uni-Vibe tones by a company that’s known for all things Jimi Hendrix
  • Control and expression pedal input jacks
  • True bypass
  • You get a free E-sample pack when ordering!
  • Covered by a 45 day warranty

Cons:

  • Higher price point
  • Somewhat noisy

The JAM Pedals RetroVibe Uni-Vibe v2 is a versatile digital replica of the original Univibe pedal originally used by Jimi Hendrix.

The RetroVibe offers some nice performance enhancements over the original, with the ability to have high and low speed with the toggle switch, as well as a level control for both speed settings. There’s also an independent LED for speed 1 and speed 2 so you can see at all times which speed you’re on.

This pedal has very effective and authentic-sounding chorus and vibrato options, thanks to the double stacked custom-made JAM® VibE Drive (V2) IC. It also employs an optical compression and soft summer footswitch as well as an LFO sweep. The V2 also has a level and tone offset.

6. JHS Pedals Unicorn Uni-Vibe Vibrato Guitar Effects Pedal

Our rating: 6 / 10

JHS Pedals Unicorn Uni-Vibe Vibrato Guitar Effects Pedal

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Pros:

  • Sounds just like Jimi’s Uni-Vibe
  • Sturdy aluminum chassis
  • Small footprint
  • Super-bright LED spotlight
  • True bypass
  • Heavy-duty vintage-style foot switch

These pedals from JHS Pedals were modeled after the classic Vox/Jimi Hendrix pedal. And what’s most interesting about this pedal is how cleanly it emulates the vintage tone of the original pedal. It offers you three styles of the Uni-Vibe chorus/vibrato effect: Jimi, Hendrix, and Beach Boys.

In each style, you can switch between the different vintage sound variations (mono, dual, and reverse phase). To get your hands on the guitar pedals, the manufacturer recommends you purchase the pedal together with their custom Hendrix-drive pedal. These pedals are also sold on their own. But either way, they come with a standard 9V power supply.

We really appreciate the simplicity and ease of use associated with this pedal. It has a very small footprint, so you can stack it with other pedals if you want to. This pedal also comes with super-bright LED spotlight and true bypass, which keeps the signal as pure as possible.

7. EarthQuaker Devices The Depths Optical Vibe Circuit Effects Pedal

Our rating: 6 / 10

EarthQuaker Devices The Depths Optical Vibe Circuit Effects Pedal

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Pros:

  • Numerous enhancements and re-creations of classic Uni-Vibe effects
  • Being an optical style effect, it generates a unique, ethereal sound
  • Controls that allow for a good, wide ranging frequency range
  • Instant mode access for engaging immediate feedback
  • Easy-access tuning control
  • Ultra-compact design
  • Long-lasting laser-etched graphics
  • Rugged construction
  • True bypass design
  • Waterproof design

Cons:

  • Uses a 9-volt battery as opposed to an adapter
  • Designs might be too minimalist for some users

To re-create the classic Uni-Vibe sound, you need to check out The Depths Optical Vibe Circuit Effects Pedal from EarthQuaker Devices. Created purely as homage to the classic Uni-Vibe pedal, this creation utilizes an optical design that offers the same type of sound you’re probably searching for.

One of the greatest features of The Depths Optical Vibe Circuit Effects Pedal is that it can deliver several enhancements on some of the classic Uni-Vibe tones. Plus, it also has several re-creations of these same tones – providing a ton of options for your sonic palette.

8. Other Dunlop JHM7 Jimi Hendrix Univibe Chorus/Vibrato Pedal Limited Edition 2000 pcs Worldwide

Our rating: 5 / 10

Other Dunlop JHM7 Jimi Hendrix Univibe Chorus/Vibrato Pedal Limited Edition 2000 pcs Worldwide

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Pros:

  • Vintage tone
  • Advanced effects like flange
  • With tap tempo and external CV input jack
  • Tube-driven analog Uni-Vibe sound
  • Exclusive "TOBIAS" label
  • Smooth modulation
  • 9-volt power supply and hard-shell case included

Cons:

  • No specific documentation in the box
  • Needs PROPER setup
  • No battery option
  • Minor criticism about the speed dial not being effective
  • Poor quality of a few of the parts

Uni-Vibe can really’t be described in words. Go listen to the intro of Let Me Go Baby by Jimi Hendrix, or the intro of The Wind Cries Mary to get a feel for what this device produces. For me, it’s instantly recognizable and is clearly 5th or 6th on my list of things I want to replicate in bedroom recording. It makes you want the song to go on forever! It’s just that good.

Jimi’s sound was much more about a pounding beat; he used the Uni-Vibe to spice up his rhythm and chord changes. He wanted to get that delayed sound and hoped it would do justice to his inspiration, Curtis Mayfield.

9. Voodoo Lab Micro Vibe Guitar Effect Pedal

Our rating: 5 / 10

Voodoo Lab Micro Vibe Guitar Effect Pedal

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Pros:

  • Strong and dependable and can be used for years
  • Choose between five different vibration frequencies
  • Quality construction and design
  • Resonant frequencies and modes
  • Highly adjustable, modifiable and customizable
  • True bypass design and steel construction
  • Velvety and warm tones from Voodoo Lab

This is the best Uni-Vibe pedal for Jimi Hendrix effects. It has a warm and very smooth tone that is similar to the classic AMS vibe unit. The great thing about it is that Voodoo Lab Micro Vibe guitar pedal is more convenient than the original Uni-Vibe pedal and has a rating like the top Uni-Vibe pedal.

The Micro Vibe has a smooth and creamy tone that may not be too bright, but is warm. It comes to you with a power supply but it’s capable of drawing power from a standard guitar power adapter (9V).

It also comes with five different modes (six if you count the mix of the normal-vibrato mode) that gives you the kind of vibe feeling you want on any given note.

10. Dunlop JD4S Rotovibe Chorus/Vibrato Pedal w/Bonus Deluxe Patch Cable & RIS Picks

Our rating: 4 / 10

Dunlop JD4S Rotovibe Chorus/Vibrato Pedal w/Bonus Deluxe Patch Cable & RIS Picks

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Pros:

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Heavy-duty durable casing offers protection for the internal components of the unit
  • Strong and crisp sounding pedal
  • Effective selectable speeds for various combinations of a rotary speaker and filter
  • Full made in the USA!

Cons:

  • Average sound quality
  • Expensive

The Uni-Vibe pedal was developed in the late 1960’s for Jimi Hendrix. Jimi used the effect for a lot of the psychedelic sounds he had “ especially in the band Cream. The effect can be heard on many of the songs he performed solo and with Buddy Miles.

A classic effect, the uni-vibe is also referred to as a phase shifter. It has a sound resembling vibrato, but it’s actually a combination of phase shifting and tremolo. It utilizes a VCF (voltage controlled filter) which can produce an effect similar to an auto-wah. The flange produced by the pedal has a subtle to intense effect on the tone of your guitar.

While the pedals look similar, the controls are not the same – each functioning differently from one unit to the next. The Jimi Hendrix UniVibe is pedal with good sound quality, wide speed range (to allow for slow speeds), and accurate control.

11. NUX Mini Core Monterey Vibe Guitar Effects Pedal Firmware Upgradable True Bypass

Our rating: 3 / 10

NUX Mini Core Monterey Vibe Guitar Effects Pedal Firmware Upgradable True Bypass

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Pros:

  • Durable, yet lightweight
  • Eye-catching design that takes up minimal space on your pedalboard
  • Highly responsive and accurate tone that is easy to set up
  • Versatile
  • Easy to find affordable replacement parts for on the Internet
  • Highly rated by customers

This pedal has some rave reviews from customers:

"I've been using the Nux for over 6 months now and you will be hard-pressed to find a better value in a Uni-Vibe." -jim_mcvie

"I promise you'll spend hours upon hours into the future just playing around with the sound and modulations of this pedal." -maple_ar

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Where should a vibe pedal go?

Vibration is, of course, a form of modulation. But in contrast to the volume-based modulation we've discussed so far from tremolo pedals and rotary speaker simulators, the speed-based modulation of a Uni-Vibe pedal sees the direction of the effect moving repeatedly one way and the other.

When placed earlier in the signal chain — attached to the guitar or, preferably, somewhere in the effects loop of your amp — a Uni-Vibe effects pedal can produce a very convincing and pleasing simulation of a rotating speaker, washing the mid range with something approximating the effect of moving the sound across the face of the speaker.

With a semi-conductor design that is based on transistors, a Uni-Vibe effects pedal creates a stereo output, adding an extra dimension of convincing sound to the pedal.

What is Univibe effect?

The Uni-Vibe was first produced in 1968 by Shin-Ei. At the time, it was accomplished by the use of two phase-canceling oscillators, a low frequency oscillator (LFO), and an electro-optical modulator. At its core, it is a slightly detuned Φ-law phaser with added brightness and rate control. The phaser is built into an actual rotating speaker and used with a moving light. When combined with distortion, a large modulation effect is achieved.

Over the past few years, the Uni-Vibe has become a go-to pedal for Jimi Hendrix sound. Effects maker, Strymon, produces the best version of this effect, which we mention at the top of the Uni-Vibe pedal.

Is Univibe a phaser?

No. A Uni-Vibe is like a phaser or flanger pedal that uses a rotary motor and optical sensor to create its signature effect. But, rather than emulating a jet’s engine, it is made to recreate the rotating sound of a Leslie rotating speaker.

What is a vibrato pedal?

A vibrato pedal is also called an Uni-Vibe after a popular early model created by Jimi Hendrix's pedal technician, Roger Mayer.

Jimi was known to put phaser and Uni-Vibe pedals on both his amps, making for some fantastic sound and effects combinations.

You can achieve the same sound for much cheaper though; many guitar pedal brands have gotten their produce down to a science, their pedals often being exact replicas of classic models.

Uni-Vibe pedals are usually associated with psychedelic rock, but are a great addition to any guitarist's pedalboard. Some players are even known to use two or three in one setup.

Conclusion

When it comes to finding the best Uni-Vibe pedal, there are a lot of options out there. But if you’re looking for a great user experience and you love the smooth sound and warm vibrations of the Uni-Vibe as Hendrix did, your search ends here. The Holy Grail will do exactly what you want it to do – that is, completely immerse you in the classic vibe sound.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Dunlop M68 Uni-Vibe Chorus/VibratoBest OverallDunlop M68 Uni-Vibe Chorus/Vibrato
Shaky Jimi VibeBudget PickShaky Jimi Vibe
EarthQuaker Devices The Depths Optical Vibe Circuit Effects PedalUpgrade PickEarthQuaker Devices The Depths Optical Vibe Circuit Effects Pedal